Keep up to Date With Your Best On-Demand Food Delivery App!

8 April 2020 Writer: Lera Grechanik 1590 views

The Food Delivery industry keeps its progressive growth, which you could have noticed during the past years. And taking into account the recent world trends with the virus spreading and gaining popularity social distancing, just right now online food delivery segment conveys an unprecedented rise. So if you have plans to make a food delivery app like UberEats, it’s definitely the high time. If not, you still have time to give it a thought!

Revenue grows in the Online food Delivery segment (Source: Statista)

Whether you already have a business that needs its own delivery app to save costs on third-party services or you want to create a new service for existing businesses - you will enter the market competition. And having a well-built user-friendly app is a competitive advantage that we can help you to achieve. 

In this article, we are going to share with you a couple of advice from our experience and if you are looking to develop a delivery app you will definitely find them useful.

Let’s start from the basics:

  1. The more experience in the restaurant industry you have the better. The best if you already have a delivery infrastructure that can at least receive the orders and organize the transportation.  
  2. Have a close look at the market and competitors in your area. You have to clearly understand why the users would prefer your app. 
  3. Focus on the local area and regular customers. It is the base of your business. Then, when your delivery service becomes pretty well-known at the regional level, try to make an exit and sell it to some “big brother”. In fact, this is a fairly general strategy. It’s enough to refer to how UberEats acquired Ando's “restaurant”, intended only for mobile delivery, or how the Maple project in New York was merged with Deliveroo.

 So whether you’re looking for a big sale or for taking care of your own local delivery app in, either way, the first thing you will do is develop an on-demand delivery app MVP.

The main features of on-demand food delivery applications

In fact, a delivery app is a system that has different roles and usually has special interfaces for each:

  • You are going to need to have a client-side ordering application. 
  • Ordering panel (web app), where the venue will receive and manage those orders.
  • A courier app is not a must but is very useful for a comprehensive delivery solution.

Admin panel for managing venues if you’re building a delivery service for multiple businesses.

3 variants of a food ordering app

 At first glance, this may seem complicated but it’s not. It’s an essential step. As everybody has different demands, it’s crucial to meet everyone’s needs. It’s also very important to deliver hands-off flawless communications between all parties.

  • People need a convenient way to browse through menus of nearby restaurants with a possibility to make an order.
  • Delivery men need an easy way to access available orders, pickup and drop off locations.
  • HORECA managers need to monitor and manage orders to organize delivery. Furthermore, they require access to deeper stats to improve customer satisfaction and increase retention.

If any member of this chain lacks the required functionality, you might be doomed. Luckily for you, In addition to theoretical advice, we are ready to help you with the quality development and quick launch of your project. At this point, any reluctance or time delay can result in much higher expenses for your business.

Customer version

To better understand what features are essential for customers, let’s put ourselves in their shoes.

Finding a restaurant or a meal

Usually, you open an application for a specific purpose. In this case, users will look at things to eat and a place to order. So, we now have our first main features:

  • searching for nearby restaurants;
  • accessing information about the menu, prices, special offers, possible reading reviews.

To deliver the best experience, you need to consider a good search with filters to enable people to look for restaurants by name, address or even meal. As people often prefer to look for a certain dish, displaying all possible restaurants where it’s available will be a great option.

Making an order

After deciding on the order, people show have an easy way to add it to the cart. This is an important step that will directly affect your business and further purchases.

Great tip: consider putting the ‘add to the chart’ button in an intuitive spot or, so-called, thumb-friendly zone.

The process should be user-friendly

Before proceeding to the payment, make sure to display the order summary with the possibility to change the amount of chosen meals. This way users have a final chance to glance at the entire order and confirm it.

Introducing the ability to deliver the order by a certain time or asap is another great feature your users will acknowledge and find very useful

User location

From the user perspective, the main purpose of using a food delivery apps is to get the meal you crave to any location- wither you at home, work or a public recreation zone. So, allowing people to drop a pin of a current location is a very handy feature.

Another impressive thing you can do is allow users to track the delivery guy with a ready order online, on a map.

Order payment

When setting up in-app payments, make sure they are fast, easy and secure. Give your users multiple payment options – prepay with a bank card, e-wallet, or even cash upon delivery.

A secure payment system is a valuable feature of any food delivery application

Reviewing the experience

After the order is paid for and delivered, ask your users for feedback. You can start with a simple star rating about the service, food quality and app experience. This will make your users feel appreciated and help you improve your business.

Important information about account setup

Allowing people to register in your app gives them a chance to quickly access their accounts with chosen preferences. The basic functionality should include editing a username, changing a password and linking a different bank card. Enhanced apps allow users to set a profile picture, add food preferences, mark favorite places and so on.

Make signing up step in the easiest way

Nevertheless, this should be an optional choice, as you can intimidate your potential users.

Helpful tips:

  • Logging in via popular social networks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is an option used by most apps and services.
  • Avoid making a long registration process. You don’t want to irritate people who want to get on with food as quickly as possible.
  • Stay compliant and don’t store any personal data as it can jeopardize your business.

Make the coolest app

All aforementioned features are just a basic set to make a good user-friendly app. If you want to impress potential users, consider adding the following perks that will benefit your business:

  • favorite items;
  • wish list;
  • share on social media;
  • see order history;
  • set notifications;
  • add possible delivery time.

Tracking feature would be a great supplement to your food delivery app

Now that we know users’ essentials, let’s explore the functionality necessary for delivery men.

Courier version

The app for contractors is more modest that one for customers. And yet it requires specific functionality that is essential for delivery to work.

Authentication and profile editing

Before doing any kind of delivery, couriers need to identify themselves. And that depends on how you set up the actual process. Most common registration choices narrow down to signing up via a phone number, email, social media alongside with filling out additional important information. It’s quite similar to the customer app with one thing that differs – here signing up and validation should be mandatory. After all, it’s up to you, but knowing information about the middle man is always helpful. By the way options such as password change or recovery should be available in this version of the app.

Order management

After logging in the delivery man needs to see a list of orders with detailed information and pickup and drop off information, package size, etc. After picking a convenient order or two, the guy should be able to book it and get to work.

Status update

After the order is accepted, the courier needs to keep the customer updated about the status of the delivery. Usually, there are three options available:

  • Accepted/rejected.
  • Picked up.
  • Delivered.

After the delivery is approved by the customer, the courier receives the payment.

Improving the courier version

He is a list of additional useful features that will help you establish a good relationship with the middleman, making the job more pleasant and interactive:

  • in-app tracking from pickup to delivery;
  • push notifications on status updates;
  • booking history and checkout.

Now when we mentioned the essentials that make a good food delivery app, let’s talk about development starting with the Admin Panel.

Management panel

It’s a core element of a functioning restaurant that allows managing a lot of important information such as the available menu, current prices, customers, delivery men database and so on. Let’s dive into more details.

Authentication

Authentication is a must here, as a restaurant manager needs to sign in to access necessary information. Password reset and recovery is also a thing not to miss out on. Nevertheless, this is really required only for delivery aggregators who order from plenty of restaurants all the time.

Order allocation

If you are using your own couriers, the manager can easily assign orders manually, using the admin panel.

Managing content

To give the best user experience, increase the lifetime value and improve retention rates, you need to deliver the finest. The management interface should include the following important features:

  • edit general information like name, address, contact info, etc;
  • add photos about the place and meals;
  • update the menu (manage available meals and their descriptions, change prices).

It`s necessary for managers to have all possible instruments to edit content

Managing the orders

After registering in the app and setting up the restaurant’s profile, the managers can take orders. To do so, they need to be able to:

  • View detailed information about the order.
  • Sent updates about the order to customers and delivery men.
  • Access all current orders.

Other cool features for the restaurant’s app version

Some of the best apps have the following additional features to help them improve their business:

  • Push Notifications Center. To retarget customers and motivate them to use the app more often.
  • Financial Accounting. To help control the earnings, set correct prices and improve financial goals.
  • Marketing Campaigns. To run campaigns and increase the user’s loyalty. Some of these include unique coupons, special offers, etc.
  • Analytics Panel. To evaluate your restaurant’s performance and make better business decisions.

Now that we know about different sorts of features that should be present in all three types of the app, let’s talk about how much such a solution can possibly cost.

The development cost of food delivery app

What is the possible cost of your web-based or app version of a food delivery solution?

Let’s look at an MVP that consists of all forth above mentioned features and calculate the basic development costs with ReactJS and React Native - for the FrontEnd/Mobile, and Firebase/AWS for the BackEnd.

The good news is that some features are common for both user and delivery apps, so you only need to develop them once and then reuse for other versions. To make it easier, we compiled those in the table below.

Key features | Estimated in hours

(customer and couriers app version)

Features

BackEnd

App-FrontEnd

Authorization

10

35

Account editing

3

15

Push notifications

11

30

React Native iOS/Android Specific Adjustments

-

10

Total hours

24

90

Estimated costs

$840

$3.150

The customer version of the food delivery with the biggest variety of features (based on UberEats):

Client application | Estimated in hours

Features

BackEnd

App-FrontEnd

Authorization

take a look at the evaluation of the main functions

Tutorial on adaption

-

14

Editing an account*

3

9

GPS Restaurant search

34

53

List of Dishes

5

10

The dish details

23

58

Cart management

13

25

Set delivery location

9

45

Real-time tracking

27

29

Payment service

17

41

Writing a review

7

35

React to your iOS/Android Settings

-

31

Total hours

138

350

Estimated costs

$4.830

$12.250

*additionally to basic features’ estimation

Some simple math, and we now know that the app’s customer version will roughly cost $19,720 (including BackEnd + iOS/Android Dev).

As the delivery men don't need as many features, it will be less costly.

Courier application | Estimated in hours

Features

BackEnd

App-FrontEnd

 

Authorization

take a look at the evaluation of the main functions

Editing an account*

5

7

 

Orders dashboard

34

35

 

Change order-status

24

51

 

Integration with Map

-

29

 

Real-time Tracking for Customer

10

41

 

Order history

13

24

 

Total hours

86

187

 

Estimated costs

$3,010

$6,545

 

*additionally to basic features’ estimation

As we can see, the delivery men app development will cost $11,520 for the BackEnd and iOS/Android App-FrontEnd.

Last but not least is the restaurant version of the app. Since it’s only a web application, it requires less money for development compared to the customer and delivery versions. 

Restaurant web-application | Estimated in hours

Features

Development time

Authorization

21

Content management:

 

Edit general information

14

Add photos

7

Menu management

13

Order processing:

 

View details

11

Order status update

14

Order filter

7

Other tasks

59

Total hours

146

Estimated costs

$5,110

The restaurant web application will result in about $5,110

Note: we used an average rate of $35/hour but depending on multiple factors, it’s not a definite final price.

Those are just rough calculations, so keep in mind your final expenses might vary from ones we used as an example. For a more accurate estimation get in touch with our Celadon tech team and we’ll set you up with calculations that fit your app idea.

Business Tips 

We also have quite useful advice that will help you succeed in the market and avoid basic mistakes.

  • Do your research

Before developing a food delivery app, make sure to do a competitive analysis to know who you’re up against. Food ordering apps are popping out pretty fast. So, it’s important to know the players and their audiences. For example, some attract the young population with all sorts of fast-food options, while others target busy people who want to eat healthily. In today’s competitive environment finding your niche determines your ability to succeed.

Also, make sure you know your target audience. Residents of different countries and even people from one city – they all have their own food preferences.

For example, in USA burgers and Chinese food prevails over sushi of Thai. If you want your app to be a success, you consider popular dishes in your region and include local food preferences.

  • Expand your user base

A big user base is key to success. The more people use your app, the more orders they make. More orders lead to higher revenue. It’s that simple. Here is some advice on how to expand your user base:

Simple start: test your business concept and test the app locally. This way you can acquire your first users and make necessary improvements to the app.

Get all the advertising you can: social media, PR, referral programs and so on.

Collaboration: advertise your business to small and big retailers who already have a loyal audience.

  • Retain customers

Attracting users is hard. So, you need to make sure they keep using your app after the first order. Here are some practical ways to keep up their interest:

Exquisite customer support: be friendly and give quick and helpful replies to any inquiries.

Special offers: provide discounts, give special coupons or assign bonuses.

Ratings: stay aware of customers’ satisfaction to keep your service running flawlessly.

Tech tips

Here are some tips from Celadon developers that you might find handy during your app development:

  • Use Autho to authorize any users - passwordless email, SMS-auth, classic auth.
  • Use reliable Stripe and Braintree SDKs for payment system integration.
  • Use Google Places API for the restaurant’s detailed info.
  • Firebase can be applied for your Backend. You can also use it for push notifications. We know it’s convenient as we do it ourselves.
  • Use Routific API for route optimization to suggest delivery guys the most effective route from pickup to drop off.

Wrapping it up

Given the recent events that swept the entire world, food ordering apps is a good and popular investment. It’s not late to enter the market, there are still a few niches left and waiting for you. This article will give you the right incentives to kick off your own business!

Celadon team is here to help you with the development of your own food ordering app!

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